HU hurler Lauren Ward recorded 20 strikeouts in the Foresters' Mid-Central Conference opening doubleheader to help lead HU to 8-0 and 5-4 wins over the University of St. Francis.
Ward went the distance in the opening game shutout. She struck out 15 of the 18 batters she faced including 11 in a row, and allowed just one hit. She also went 2-3 at the plate and knocked in a run.
HU failed to score in its first at-bat, but then scored at least one run in each of the next five to bring the contest to an early end at 8-0. Brittany Gower joined Ward with two hits in the game that included a RBI double.
In game two, the Foresters had a 4-2 lead after five innings of play, but St. Francis knotted the score with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Both teams went scoreless though the seventh, so they header to extra innings. In the eighth, neither team could take advantage of leadoff singles, but HU made better use of a Gower leadoff double in the ninth. Janalee Boroff pushed her to third on a sacrifice bunt and Alicia Willour single to center to drive her in. Ward, who came on in relief of Ashley Scally with one out in the fifth, retired the Cougars in order in the bottom of the ninth to earn her second win of the day.
Gower and Keri Badenhop both had two hits in the game that included Gower's double and a Badenhop triple. Emily Canary led HU with two RBI. Ward threw three and two-thirds innings in the winning effort. She allowed two hits and added five strike outs to make it an even 20 on the day.